Anyone who pokes around ACS’ JACS beta site will have noticed they now offer a grid view for TOC abstracts. Screen shot below
At a recent ACS on campus focus group I remarked to a member of the JACS beta team how similar it looks to ChemFeeds (screenshot below). The young marketing graduate said with a big smile, “Yeah, we know.” “We knew about it.”
If you want to play with ACS’ TOC Grid View read the instructions here: Grid View TOC
(This post is in response to the May 10 editorial in C&E News. For the response to the April 19 editorial, click here)
First, I want to thank Rudy Baum, editor-in-chief of C&E News, for taking the time to respond to my commentary. I know he probably has other issues he’d rather talk about on his editorial page, and I appreciate the engagement in this dialogue.
I’d like to continue the dialogue here and I hope to keep this conversation going – at least informally – for a long time.
Mr. Baum and I seem to agree that Web 2.0 is a part of science now; however, we may disagree on the merits of SciW2.0. If you don’t believe SciW2.0 has arrived, consider that the fact that you are even privy to this conversation. Not only do I have a W2.0 platform upon which I can comment on C&E News editorials, but within days the comments were populated with a who’s who of SciW2.0 leaders offering their opinions and helping shape the conversation. And the conversation became so loud that it prompted an editor-in-chief to write an entire editorial in response to, essentially, a nobody in the chemistry world (let’s face it. I certainly don’t count myself in the elite of chemistry, blind or not). That all of these things can happen within a month – and without any face-to-face meetings between any of the players – proves the establishment of SciW2.0 as a communication tool.
Now, before we continue, I want to re-link...
(This post is in response to the April 19 editorial in C&E News. For the response to the May 10 editorial, click here)
A recent ChemJobber post notes that C&E News Editor-in-Chief Rudy Baum‘s editorials sometimes have a tendency to approach the controversial – and sometimes the purely political. I wanted to discuss this weeks editorial which threatens to call into question much of my online existence (sorry, Mitch. If Rudy’s right, I think you’re about to spontaneously e-implode).
In this week’s editorial, “The Limits of Web 2.0,” Baum decries the cliché “information wants to be free” for both its out-of-context usage (the full quote says information wants to be expensive because it is valuable and free because the cost of information dissemination is shrinking almost hourly – thus a struggle) and for its lunacy (information can’t wish for anything – it’s inanimate). Rather, Baum says that it’s people who wish that information would be free. I’d amend Baum’s correction slightly. People really want information to be free and readily accessible. I’d argue public libraries have long made most information “free,” if you were willing to do the legwork to get it.
But the bulk of Baum’s editorial promotes Jaron Lanier’s book You are Not a Gadget: A Manefesto, and summarizes Lanier’s main points, namely that the wisdom of crowds can...
My boss has pointed out this piece of news covered by C&EN. Apparently, starting from July, all ACS journals will be printed in a “rotated and condensed” format, that is two pages on one printed page in landscape format. This is an effort to reduce printing and distribution costs.
In my opinion, this change is just one further step towards purely electronic journals that are not printed at all. I think this will deeply affect the way we present our data and how we look at formatting. Preparing a manuscript in a way meant for printing is different from one which will never appear in print. Some may welcome this change because it saves paper, others will probably miss the possibility of flicking through a new issue of JACS. Although I rarely go to the library to pick up a printed journal, I admit to reading printouts very often (see this post).
Update: Apparently, in 2010 the print versions will stop completely, with the exception of JACS, Acc. Chem. Res. and Chem. Rev. See also Nature News.
I love Wikipedia. I think deep down we all do. There’s something truly amazing about accessing hordes of (useless) information simply by entering a few keystrokes in a giant search engine. At times, Wikipedia’s better than “Googling” simply by virtue of the fact that each topic is referenced (most of the time) and peer-reviewed. By analogy, can you imagine the quality of published work if the ACS didn’t require references in a submitted manuscript or operate a peer-reviews-type system?
Wikipedia is great for getting an objective “big picture,” rapidly in a fairly organized format, but it has its limitations. Do you need to know the origins of Evacuation day in Boston? Use Wikipedia. Do you need to know the economic impact of the 11-month British seizure of Boston? You’re better off consulting a textbook or bugging you local history scholar.
By contrast, my “ranking” professors largely despise search engines such as Wikipedia. I think they frown at the ease of accessing a tool that anyone can alter for finding physical constants (i.e. the density of aniline) or understanding conceptual material (i.e. Zimmerman-Traxler transition state models). I once heard a professor claim, “If it’s published on the internet, there’s really no way to verify if the information is true.” In a sense, he was correct. The internet is a terrific source for (mis)information, and Wikipedia is really no exception to this phenomenon. Hell, my...